STROLLING IN PEST - APRIL 2006
After showing views from the Castle and the hills in Buda, as well as of the water of the Danube, this post pays homage to some beautiful buildings in Pest.
"THE NATIONAL MUSEUM, the first museum of Hungary, was founded by Count Ferenc Széchenyi in 1802. The neoclassical building was designed by Mihály Polláck, took ten years to be built and opened in 1847 as the fourth largest museum in Europe. Rafael Monti prepared the sculptures of the tympanum, including a female personification of Pannonia, enthroned holding laurel wreaths in her hands. Today, the main exhibitions of the Museum focus on the history of Hungary from the Palaeolithic era to the present times"
"DEAK FERENC TER - Further to some quite interesting buildings, the place hosts the Meridien Hotel and three stations on the M1, M2, and M3 lines of the Budapest Metro"
"SAINT STEPHEN'S BASILICA is Hungary’s largest church and the second highest in ecclesiastical ranking, after the Esztergom Basilica posted here. Its construction was started in 1851, but its dome collapsed in 1868, and thus the building was complete only in 1905. The interior features about 50 different types of marble and, behind the main altar you can see an extraordinary holy relic: Stephen's preserved right hand"
"CENTRAL BANK - The building (1902-1905) was originally constructed as the headquarters for the Austro-Hungarian Bank by Ignác Alpár (1855-1928). Alpár was one of the great Hungarian architects, also responsible for some other impressive bank buildings in Budapest, nowadays used for different purposes: the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Finance, the Budapest Stock Exchange and the home of Hungarian Television"
"FORMER POST OFFICE SAVINGS BANK - The bank was designed by Odön Lechner, the architect who tried to fuse Hungarian folk elements with the Art Nouveau style, and was built in 1901"
"BUDA SEEN FROM PEST"
"IMRE NAGY, who was Prime Minister immediately prior to the 1956 uprising and tried to introduce some reforms pulling away from Soviet Union, took refuge in the Yugoslavian Embassy after the uprising was crushed. Though he had assurances of safe passage, Nagy was arrested as soon as he left the compound, was tried and executed in 1958, and buried in an unmarked site of the Budapest cemetery. Nagy's body was exhumed and given a state burial in 1989 and this statue was erected in 1996"
"THE DIVA OF THE DANUBE - From the Pest bank of the River there is a beautiful view towards Buda, Matthias Church, the Fishermen's Bastion and the Castle"
"HÖSÖK TER - The Heroes Square, at the end of Andrassy Avenue, is home to the Millennium Monument and to the Millennial Column. The Monument was built in 1896 to commemorate the 1000th anniversary of the Magyar conquest; The 36 meter high Column is topped with a statue of the Archangel Gabriel and has equestrian statues of the 7 Magyar chiefs who actually conquered the territory (Arpad, Elod, Ond, Kond, Tas, Huba, Tohotom) at the basis"
"THE FINE ARTS MUSEUM, on the northern side of Heroes' Square, houses some masterpieces from El Greco, Goya, Rembrandt and Rubens, as well as other items dating back to the Egyptian era. One of the most impressive galleries in Central Europe, a great part of its collection comes from the Esterházy family, once one of the most influential families in the country. During our stay, there was an important exhibition on Sigismund from Luxembourg, son of the emperor Charles IV and King of Hungary from 1387 through 1437"
"ART PALACE - On the southern side of Heroes Square, the Palace was built in 1895, in neoclassical style. It's the greatest exhibition hall in Hungary and it regularly organizes themed exhibitions; Coolhunters - Jugendkulturen zwischen Medien und Markt - was shown then. According to Wikipedia, «Coolhunting is a term coined in the early 1990s referring to a new breed of marketing professionals, called coolhunters. It is their job to make observations and predictions in changes of new or existing cultural trends»!"
"VAJDAHUNYAD was built in wood and cardboard for the city’s millennium exhibition in 1896. Its success was so huge that a decision was taken to make it more permanent, using brick and stone. The castle, actually an enclave of buildings rather than just one structure, was designed by architect Ignác Alpár and seems to have been modelled after a castle with the same name in Transylvania"
"VÖRÖSMARTY TER is named after the early 19th century Hungarian poet Mihály Vörösmarty, who is known for his patriotic lyrics. The Square is one of the busiest places in Budapest and it's also the start of the city's most famous shopping street, Váci Utca"
"THE GERBEAUD is a wonderful pastry shop owned by a Swiss family. The café was established by Henrik Kugler in 1858 and expanded by its later owner, Emil Gerbeaud. It’s decorated with marble tables and beautiful wall coverings and is large enough to hold 300 customers at a time at the Cafe, the Restaurant and the Pub. Don't miss the Esterházy and Dobos cakes"
"GRESHAM'S BUILDING - I've already posted a picture of the Gresham Palace, but I believe the building deserves another chance"